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Ultrasonography as a complementary diagnostic method for evaluating the skin of healthy cats

Zanna, Giordana, Zini, Eric, Scarampella, Fabia, Attanasi, Anna, Arrighi, Silvana, Auriemma, Edoardo
Canadian journal of veterinary research 2017 v.81 no.4 pp. 292-296
cats, diagnostic techniques, males, neck, reference standards, ultrasonography, veterinary medicine
Ultrasonography is not often used in feline dermatology. The purpose of this study was to assess the usefulness and applicability of ultrasonography for skin evaluation in 21 clinically healthy cats. Ultrasonographic examination was conducted in 4 cutaneous regions (frontal, dorsal neck, sacral, and abdominal) using an 18-MHz linear-sequential-array transducer. Findings were assessed using histomorphometric analysis of skin samples set as reference standards. Morphologic evaluation, thickness measurements, measurement variability, and comparison between regions and genders were carried out. The ultrasonographic pattern of feline skin was characterized by 3 distinct layers of different echogenicity and echostructure. Skin was thickest at the dorsal neck region and thinnest at the abdominal region. Skin at the frontal region and dorsal neck region was thicker in males. Variability was < 10% in all regions. No apparent correspondence was found between ultrasonographic and histometric measurements of skin thickness. Collectively, these findings suggest that ultrasonography is a simple, noninvasive, and reproducible technique that allows cutaneous layers to be identified and accurately measures skin thickness in cats.